BEIJING - Singapore and China on Sunday (Feb 26) signed five pacts to cooperate on improving the infrastructure and services in Tianjin Eco-City (TEC).
These agreements cover areas such as water resources management, digital media, healthcare, research and development as well as the implementation of a "smart city" masterplan.
The government-led eco-city project - a 30 sq km green township in the north-eastern port city - broke ground in 2008. Before it was developed, the site was a mix of saltpans, barren land and a large wastewater pond.
The two governments are collaborating to develop it into an environmentally friendly and resource-efficient city that can be used as a model for sustainable development in other Chinese cities.
Tianjin Eco-City now has more than 70,000 residents and 4,500 registered companies with a total registered capital of 200 billion yuan (S$40.9 billion).
Minister for National Development and Second Minister for Finance Lawrence Wong and Tianjin Mayor Wang Dongfeng witnessed the signing ceremony of four memorandums of understanding (MOUs) and a strategic framework agreement at a hotel in Beijing on Sunday evening.
"Under these new MOUs, Singapore agencies such as PUB, SingHealth and the Singapore Cooperation Enterprise can share their expertise with Chinese officials to improve the eco-city's infrastructure and services," said Mr Wong.
Singapore agencies can explore industry development opportunities in water management and smart-city planning in China through this cooperation, he said.
Research organisations from Singapore universities can also gain access to research and development as well as commercialisation opportunities in the country via the eco-city, he added.
Associate Professor Chua Yeow Leng from SingHealth told The Straits Times that its MOU with the eco-city will help improve the training and development of healthcare professionals.
SingHealth will work closely with TEC to provide a range of training programmes, symposiums and seminars that will be held in Tianjin as well as Singapore in the next three to five years,said the group director of the International Collaboration Office.
"The professional exchange will enable healthcare professionals from Tianjin and Singapore to learn from one another and share best practices aimed at improving patient care and the healthcare delivery systems. More importantly, it will enhance both countries' capabilities to train strong pipelines of healthcare professionals to meet current and future needs," Prof Chua added.
The signing ceremony was held ahead of an annual high-level bilateral meeting between Singapore and China, which will take place on Monday (Feb 27) in Beijing.
Known as the Joint Council for Bilateral Cooperation (JCBC), the meeting is a platform to discuss ways to deepen and broaden Singapore-China cooperation.
Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean will co-chair the 13th session with Chinese Vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli.
The 18th China-Singapore Suzhou Industrial Park Joint Steering Council (JSC), and the 9th Sino-Singapore Tianjin Eco-city JSC as well as the inaugural Chongqing Connectivity Initiative JSC will also be held on Monday.